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Yoshihiko Noda

yoshihiko noda, japanese prime minister yoshihiko noda
Yoshihiko Noda 野田 佳彦, Noda Yoshihiko, born 20 May 1957 is a Japanese politician who was Prime Minister of Japan from 2011 to 2012 He is a member of the Democratic Party of Japan DPJ, and a member of the House of Representatives lower house in the Diet national legislature He was named to succeed Naoto Kan as a result of a runoff vote against Banri Kaieda in his party,1 and was formally appointed by the Emperor on 2 September 2011

Following a severe loss for the DPJ in the December 2012 general election, Noda conceded defeat and announced his resignation as party leader He was succeeded by Shinzō Abe as Prime Minister on 26 December 20122


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Diet career
  • 3 Prime Minister
    • 31 Nuclear policy
    • 32 Trans-Pacific Partnership
    • 33 Senkaku Islands
    • 34 Consumption tax increase
  • 4 2012 general election
  • 5 Personal life
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Early lifeedit

Noda was born in Funabashi, Chiba on 20 May 1957, the son of a paratrooper in the Japan Self-Defense Forces3 Unlike many prominent Japanese politicians, Noda has no family connections to Nagatachō His parents were too poor to pay for a wedding reception45

Noda graduated from Chiba Prefectural Funabashi Senior High School in 1975 He graduated from Waseda University with the BA degree in Political Science in 1980 and was later accepted into the prestigious Matsushita Institute This institution was founded by Kōnosuke Matsushita the founder of Panasonic to groom future civic leaders of Japan While attending the Matsushita Institute, Noda read household gas meters as a part-time job in his native Chiba Prefecture, partially in order to get to know his future constituents better in preparation for a run for office6 He was first elected to the assembly of Chiba Prefecture in 1987 at the age of 297

Diet careeredit

Noda with Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

In 1993, he was elected to the Diet for first time representing Chiba's Lower House District #4 as a member of the now-defunct Japan New Party He later joined the DPJ and served as its Diet affairs chief as well as head of the party's public relations office7

In October 2005, Noda criticized Prime Minister Jun'ichirō Koizumi for his position on Japanese class A war criminals as "war criminals" However, Noda supported Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni Shrine8

Noda acted as senior vice finance minister when the DPJ won control of the Diet in September 2009, and was appointed as Minister of Finance by Prime Minister Naoto Kan in June 2010 He was known as a reformist and had led a DPJ intraparty group critical of ex-DPJ powerbroker Ichirō Ozawa7 Upon assuming the post of finance minister, Noda, a fiscal conservative, expressed his determination to slash Japan's deficit and rein in gross public debt In January 2011, for the first time in six years, the finance ministry intervened in the foreign exchange market and spent 213 trillion yen to purchase dollars in order to rein in the yen’s spiraling appreciation

Poster in Toyonaka, Osaka

Prime Ministeredit

Noda at the 2010 APEC Finance Summit Noda with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

After Naoto Kan's resignation in August 2011, Noda stood as a candidate in the party election to replace him910 He won a runoff vote against Banri Kaieda in the leadership election, making him the presumptive prime minister He inherited the challenge of rebuilding from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami111

During the party caucus making the leadership decision, Noda made a 15-minute speech in which he summarized his political career by comparing himself to dojo loach, a kind of bottom-feeding fish Paraphrasing a poem by Mitsuo Aida, he said, "I'll never be a goldfish in a scarlet robe, but like a loach in muddy waters I'll work hard for the people, to move politics forward"6 The "loach speech" was popular among his colleagues and cemented his political reputation at the start of his term12

Noda was said to have close relations with the United States, and stressed the importance of the US-Japan security alliance in an August 2011 speech13 On 15 August 2011 —the anniversary of the Surrender of Japan in World War II, he said that Japan's class A war criminals convicted by the Allies were not legally war criminals under his view14 As prime minister he stated that his position on this issue would follow the standard set by previous administrations, and that he did not wish to alter Japan's close relationship with China and Korea15

Nuclear policyedit

In his first speech as Prime Minister on 2 September 2011, Noda confirmed that the Japanese government would continue to phase out nuclear power, by not building new nuclear power plants nor extending the life spans of outdated ones In May, 2012, nuclear power plants which were sitting idle in the wake of the Fukushima disaster were restarted in order to help Japan's immediate demands for energy,16 despite protests including hundreds of people17

Trans-Pacific Partnershipedit

After becoming Prime Minister, one of Noda's most important initiatives was pursuing the entry of Japan into the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, which he announced on 11 November 201118 This proved controversial and was widely discussed in Japanese society

Senkaku Islandsedit

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government under Governor Shintaro Ishihara sought to buy the Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by China and Taiwan19 Ishihara wished to build facilities on the islands to more obviously claim them as Japanese territory, a move which the national government under Noda regarded as likely to exacerbate tensions with China On 27 April 2012 the Tokyo government began raising funds from the public to purchase the islands20 and by September 2012 14 billion yen $178 million had been raised21

On 24 August, Noda went on live television and vowed to appeal to the international community to support Japan’s claims to sovereignty over islands at the center of separate disputes with South Korea and China22 On 11 September, the Japanese government nationalized its control over Minami-kojima, Kita-kojima, and Uotsuri islands by purchasing them from the Kurihara family for ¥205 billion2324 China's Foreign Ministry objected saying Beijing would not "sit back and watch its territorial sovereignty violated"25

Consumption tax increaseedit

Another major priority of Noda's was his effort to increase Japan's consumption tax from 5% to 10% During this struggle Noda said that he "staked his political life" on the passage of the law26 The bill passed through the lower house of the diet on 26 June 2012,27 and passed the upper house on 10 August 201228 On 10 August 2012, Noda survived a no-confidence vote after proposing a five-percent increase in the sales tax29 During negotiations for the tax, Noda promised to call an early election "soon"30 Afterwards, he stated that he had planned to quit as a lawmaker if he had been unable to pass the consumption tax increase31

Noda received praise for passing the consumption tax hike despite intense opposition, but was also criticized for bringing the DPJ closer in substance to its rival LDP, rather than keeping the campaign promises by which it defeated the LDP in 2009 One commentator called him "the best prime minister the LDP never had"32

2012 general electionedit

Main article: Japanese general election, 2012

On 21 September 2012, Noda won the DPJ's leadership bi-annual election33 by 818 points out of 1,231 He then said: "I would like to beef up our teamwork so that we can shift the DPJ once again to make it a fighting force that can serve Japan I promise to sweat with all of you to make a vigorous Japan together The real reform Japan needs is decisive politics when we face issues that need to be decided" His result was seen as more certain after Environment Minister Goshi Hosono stepped back from standing in the election He defeated former agriculture ministers Michihiko Kano and Hirotaka Akamatsu, as well as former internal affairs minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi3435

On 14 November 2012, Noda stated that the diet would be dissolved on 16 November 2012, and the election would be held on 16 December 2012 Given the DPJ's poor figures in the polls, many members of the DPJ were opposed to this,36 including General Secretary Azuma Koshiishi, and there was talk among some DPJ members of trying to oust Noda before the next election37

The DPJ managed to narrow its polling gap with the LDP prior to the start of the election campaign in December, raising hopes that the DPJ could prevent the LDP from obtaining an outright majority and force a coalition government to be formed32 In the wake of the brutal battle surrounding the consumption tax increase, Noda revived the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a campaign issue, making market liberalization the focal point of his campaign strategy38

In the election, held on 16 December, the LDP enjoyed a resounding victory under the leadership of Shinzō Abe, winning an outright majority while the DPJ lost around three-fourths of its seats Noda immediately announced his resignation as president of the DPJ in order to take responsibility for the defeat39

Personal lifeedit

Noda has been married to his wife Hitomi since 1992 and has two sons40 He has a black belt in judo6 His favorite food and drink are ramen and sake He wrote a book entitled Enemy of the DPJ: Government Change Has a Good Cause

In an interview with The Washington Post Noda said he loved watching movies and is a fan of Meryl Streep, who recently won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady The movie follows Thatcher's life and career as she pushed through a series of economic and administrative reforms despite opposition from her countrymen Noda also said one of his favorite movies is the 1939 film Mr Smith Goes to Washington, which tells the story of a US senator who single-handedly fights against political corruption41

On 11 May 2013, Noda attended the retirement event of professional wrestler Kenta Kobashi, at Budokan Hall in Tokyo Entering the ring to greet and congratulate Kobashi during his formal retirement ceremony, Noda stayed at ringside and bore witness to Kobashi's final match and in-ring sendoff

See alsoedit

  • Japan portal
  • Biography portal
  • Politics portal


  1. ^ a b Yoshihiko Noda wins Japan leadership race, BBC, 29 August 2011
  2. ^ "Japan's Shinzo Abe unveils cabinet after voted in as PM" BBC 26 December 2012 Retrieved 8 January 2013 
  3. ^ "Profile: Yoshihiko Noda, a fiscal hawk flies into Japan's top post" People's Daily 29 August 2011 Retrieved 29 August 2011 
  4. ^ Sakamaki, Sachiko; Ujikane, Keiko 29 August 2011 "Japan’s Noda Faces Short Honeymoon" Bloomberg LP Retrieved 29 August 2011 
  5. ^ Hongo, Jun, "Noda a grappler, wears many hats", Japan Times, 31 August 2011, p 3
  6. ^ a b c Hayashi, Yuka 2011-08-29 "Japan's Noda: Low-Key on Domestic Issues, Controversial Abroad" The Wall Street Journal Retrieved 2011-08-29 
  7. ^ a b c Japan Times, "Cabinet Profiles: Kan's lineup", 9 June 2010, p 4
  8. ^ ポスト菅・身上書:野田佳彦財務相 教育、靖国で保守強調 Mainichijp in Japanese Mainichi Shimbun 18 August 2011 Archived from the original on 16 November 2011 Retrieved 29 August 2011 
  9. ^ "Noda declares DPJ election candidacy, calls for fiscal discipline" Mainichi Newspapers Co Ltd 27 August 2011 Retrieved 28 August 2011 
  10. ^ Johnston, Eric, "Contenders' backgrounds", Japan Times, 28 August 2011, p 2
  11. ^ "Yoshihiko Noda elected Japan's new PM" Indiavision news 29 August 2011 
  12. ^ "Noda’s likening himself to loach in speech helped endear him to DPJ" Japan Times 2 September 2011 Retrieved 9 January 2014 
  13. ^ Doubts already emerging over Japan's new PM|Television New Zealand| TVNZ|29 August 2011 Retrieved on 26 June 2012 Archived 14 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "S Korea blasts Noda's war criminal remarks" The Japan Times 17 August 2011 Retrieved 29 August 2011 
  15. ^ A級戦犯」発言で軌道修正=野田新代表 jiji in Japanese Jiji Press 30 August 2011 Retrieved 31 August 2011 
  16. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko 2 September 2011 "Japan’s New Prime Minister Vows Gradual Nuclear Phaseout" The New York Times Retrieved 2 September 2011 
  17. ^ Gerhardt, Tina 22 July 2012 "Japan's People Say NO to Nuclear Energy" Alternet 
  18. ^ Wallace, Rick 12 November 2011 "Trade boost for Australia as Japan agrees to free-trade negotiations" The Australian Retrieved 24 November 2011 
  19. ^ Japan Times Ishihara seeking to buy Senkaku Islands 18 April 2012
  20. ^ Japan Times Metro government raising funds in quest to purchase Senkaku Islands 28 April 2012
  21. ^ Asahi Shimbun Governor of Tokyo: Develop Senkakus, and I'll halt purchase 1 September 2012 Archived 23 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Japan Places Pressure on South Korea Amid Islets Dispute" The New York Times 24 August 2012 Retrieved 24 August 2012 
  23. ^ Kyodo News, "Senkaku purchase bid made official", Japan Times, 11 September 2012, p 2
  24. ^ NHK World, "Senkaku Isles Nationalized", 11 September 2012
  25. ^ "Japan says it will purchase disputed islands from private owner, angering China" Washington Post AP 10 September 2012 Retrieved 10 September 2012 
  26. ^ Japan Times Noda stakes his administration, political life on hiking sales tax 25 March 2012
  27. ^ Japan Times Lower House passes bill to double sales tax 27 June 2012
  28. ^ Japan Times Upper House passes bill to hike sales levy 11 August 2012
  29. ^ Westlake, Adam 10 August 2012 "Prime Minister Noda survives opponents’ no-confidence vote" The Japan Daily Press Retrieved 20 August 2012 
  30. ^ Harlan, Chico 18 August 2012 "In Japan, new taxes levy political toll on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda" The Washington Post Retrieved 20 August 2012 
  31. ^ Daily Yomiuri Noda intended to quit if tax bills had failed 13 November 2012
  32. ^ a b Janowski, Tomasz 4 December 2012 "Japan's PM Noda resilient, resolute as election loss looms" Reuters Retrieved 9 January 2014 
  33. ^ "JAPAN'S NODA TO REMAIN PM AFTER RULING PARTY VOTE" Associated Press Retrieved 21 September 2012 
  34. ^ "Japan's PM re-elected ruling party leader" Al Jazeera September 2009 Retrieved 4 October 2012 
  35. ^ "Noda rewards political allies in Cabinet reshuffle" The Asahi Shimbun 1 October 2012 Retrieved 4 October 2012 
  36. ^ Daily Yomiuri Noda sets dissolution for 16 November 2012
  37. ^ Daily Yomiuri Disgruntled DPJ members aim to unseat PM / Dissent grows as lawmakers voice frustration, helplessness at Standing Officers Council meeting 15 November 2012
  38. ^ Solis, Mireya 13 November 2012 "Can the TPP Save Prime Minister Noda’s Political Career" Brookings Institution Retrieved 9 January 2014 
  39. ^ "Abe's LDP dominates election; Noda resigns after DPJ humiliation" The Asahi Shimbun 17 December 2012 Retrieved 9 January 2014 
  40. ^ Profile Archived 2 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine on his official website jp
  41. ^ "Noda reveals admiration for 'Iron Lady' Thatcher" Asia One 21 April 2012 Retrieved 28 June 2015 

External linksedit

House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Ken'ichi Ueno
Hideo Usui
Kazuo Eguchi
Kazuo Torii
Masayuki Okajima
Member of the House of Representatives for
Chiba 1st district multi-member

Served alongside: Masayuki Okajima, Kazuo Torii, Hideo Usui, Kazuo Shii
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Shōichi Tanaka
Member of the House of Representatives for
Chiba 4th district

Party political offices
Preceded by
Takao Satō
Chief of Diet Affairs of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Tatsuo Kawabata
Preceded by
Yoshio Hachiro
Chief of Diet Affairs of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Kōzō Watanabe
Preceded by
Naoto Kan
President of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Banri Kaieda
Political offices
Preceded by
Wataru Takeshita
Masatoshi Ishida
Senior Vice Minister of Finance
Served alongside: Naoki Minezaki
Succeeded by
Motohisa Ikeda
Naoki Minezaki
Preceded by
Naoto Kan
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Jun Azumi
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Shinzō Abe

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